Beinn Dorain - failed sunrise attempt

Route: Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh, Bridge of Orchy

Munros: Beinn an Dothaidh, Beinn Dorain

Date walked: 03/02/2017

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 13km

Ascent: 969m

The plan was sound. An early wake up at 0430 and a drive up to Bridge of Orchy. Around 0600 I would start a pretty straight forward approach by the established route, so that just after 0800 I could enjoy a beautiful sunrise at the top of Beinn Dorain.

To ensure this trip is as successful as I would like to, I checked the weather forecast, prepared all the equipment in advance, and done all the required preparations.

However, several things still went wrong either due to unpredictability of the Scottish weather, or simply my negligence during the various aspects of preparation and during the trip itself.

The trip to Bridge of Orchy went smooth, although the weather at that time of day (night?) was already worse than anticipated. Including a 20min delay due to an accident 2miles south of Bridge of Orchy, I managed to start my walk from the car park at BoO Hotel around 0630.

Because time remaining to sunrise was quickly diminishing, leaving me only 1.5hrs for the ascent, I rushed. And I rushed the wrong way  Before I realised, I lost another 30min, and any hopes for reaching the summit for sunrise. As such, I made a peace with this thought (like I had a choice), and proceeded uphill at my normal pace.

As I was gaining height, the weather was becoming worse and worse. Rain turned to snow, clouds closed in, strong wind kept bashing at me to the point my face was hurting, and generally a long section of the route was far from pleasant.

As I was getting closer to the summit, I made a classic error of keeping right, and going south round the summit, on a very unpleasant slope – especially when covered in a wet snow.

When I finally got to the summit, the still low and dense clouds occasionally started to give way to same spectacular views. This was very intermittent, and associated with a very strong wind, but at least it allowed me to see the surrounding landscape. Not something I could say about few other munros I visited 

From then on the trip was getting more and more enjoyable and views even better. I returned the same route (except the "wrong way" section) stopping regularly to take in the atmosphere and the views.

Overall the trip was pretty successful and I am sure I will be returning.

A short video/pictorial and a few photographs below:









Hope you enjoyed.

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Comments: 3

Ben Vrackie - A sunrise to remember.

Corbetts: Ben Vrackie
Date walked: 21/08/2016
Distance: 8.5km
Ascent: 570m
Comments: 4
Views: 6061

Wild camping on top of Beinn Ime

Munros: Beinn Ime, Beinn Narnain
Date walked: 27/05/2016
Distance: 12km
Ascent: 803m
Comments: 2
Views: 1900


Activity: Munro compleatist
Place: Highlands
Gear: Legs
Member: none

Munros: 11
Corbetts: 1

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Trips: 1
Distance: 13 km
Ascent: 969m
Munros: 2


Trips: 2
Distance: 20.5 km
Ascent: 1373m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 1

Joined: May 11, 2016
Last visited: Oct 10, 2019
Total posts: 9 | Search posts